I won! A Knight Answers in Oberon 2012…

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve just won first place in the 2012 Oberon Writing Competition with my short story A Knight Answers. As the premiere adult writing competition of the Blue Mountains, the Oberon Writing Competition is one to aspire to win. So my jaw dropped when Anne Russell, the competition’s organiser, told me that I’d won… because I won the same competition last year too!

Winning two years in a row, I simply had to make the 250km trip from Sydney to Burraga to accept my award at the 53rd Annual Burraga Sheep Show and Country Fair. The atmosphere was electric as cowboys stepped up to receive awards for their sheep shearing skills and dog yard trials, local girls were crowned Miss Show Girl, and artists were acknowledged for their cooking, craftwork, photography, poetry and… writing!

For writing, there were four separate sections: narrative, poetry, junior narrative, and junior poetry.

Here’s me receiving my award in the narrative section (yes, it’s chilly in the mountains!):

Receiving my award from competition organiser Anne Russell

A certificate to some, a validation to me.

The theme for this year’s competition was “Tell Me A Story”, and I was particularly touched to win with A Knight Answers because, as my fans may have noticed, I rarely write short stories from the woman’s perspective and hardly ever write about relationships. Yet this story was both – so a bit of a risk for me. I guess sometimes risks pay off!

Me with the winner of the poetry section,
Celia Ravesi of Hampton, NSW

And here are some more photos of my trip to the 53rd Annual Burraga Sheep Show and Country Fair. It was a traditional country show, full of very real people whose warmth more than made up for the chilly temperature!

Burraga, New South Wales

One clever sheepdog and his sheep…

…another clever sheepdog.

In amongst the sheep.
Image: my six year-old son!

Having a whip-cracking good time!!

Beautiful Burraga.

Warm inside!

Thank you, Oberon and your fantastic 2012 Writing Competition…

I had an inspiring day at your wonderful country fair!

Zena Shapter

I write from a castle in a flying city hidden by a thundercloud. #Ditmar Award-winning author. Movie buff. Traveller. Wine lover. Story nerd. Book Creator & Mentor. Founder & leader of the award-winning Northern Beaches Writers' Group / ZF Kingbolt.


  1. Congratulations, Zena. A well deserved win.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  2. Congrats Zena! That’s awesome. Love the title.

  3. Many congratulations, Zena! So many people enter short story comps which makes it very difficult indeed to win one. To achieve first prize twice running is a fabulous feather in your cap. JB 🙂

  4. Wow, Zena – twice in row proves it was no fluke! And not just a place but to actually win first prize twice! Well done, and thanks for the entertaining post also. You’ll more than repay the sturdy burghers of Barraga with all the free publicity!

  5. Wow Zena, first twice in a row!! That’s truly fantastic news. I totally agree with risk taking. Hey, next you gotta make it three in a row….. Your whole post was great to read and the photos super. Absolutely vibrant.

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